Prospective Students

Program Overview

The graduate program in Kinesiology is an integrated study of movement encompassing the physiological, mechanical, and behavioral aspects of physical activity. The curriculum includes lectures and laboratory courses, seminars, independent study, and mentored research or practicum. This is a full-time program that takes two years to complete. Students have the option of pursuing a research track or a clinically applied track. They can also apply for internal and external graduate assistantships that provide stipends.

Research Track

The thesis option is designed to provide the fundamental framework for understanding and conducting research in kinesiology. In addition to course work, students complete a research project as part of the thesis requirement under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Through a rigorous research experience, students will demonstrate their mastery of the material and to contribute to the body of knowledge in the field of kinesiology. Graduates within the thesis track often pursue further graduate training such as advanced study at the doctoral level, admission to allied health professional programs, or medical school. Those students not continuing on with further graduate studies typically pursue careers in research, educational, or industrial settings.

Clinically Applied Track

The clinically applied option is designed to provide the necessary coursework and practical experience that is required to sit for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Clinical Exercise Physiology certification exam. Students will take advanced coursework in each of the traditional disciplines within the field and also focus on the required advanced physiology components as electives. Instead of a research thesis, students in the clinically applied track will complete 600 practical hours, which will be documented in a final, capstone project where they will reflect on their practical experience. Students in the clinically applied track will be qualified to consult on exercise-related research, public health and policy making, and other clinical and non-clinical services. Students will also be able to work in medical and allied health settings to manage cardiac and pulmonary risks, training, and rehabilitation.

Academic Preparation

Applicants to the Master of Science in Kinesiology have commonly received undergraduate degrees in Kinesiology, Exercise Science, Sport Science, Human Movement, Applied Physiology, and Physical Education. Applicants from other academic backgrounds are also considered for admission, but note that the following coursework needs to be completed prior to commencing the program:

  • Exercise Physiology*
  • Biomechanics*
  • Psychology (Sport or Exercise Psychology preferred)
  • Exercise Prescription (for those pursuing the clinical track)*

*Anatomy and Physiology are often required as pre-requisites for this coursework.

Review the undergraduate curriculum for the Sport and Exercise Science degree to see comparable coursework.

Application Information

Please visit the Seattle University Graduate Admissions webpage for more information about general requirements for graduate applications to Seattle University. The Kinesiology Department also has the following requirements for applications to the Master of Science in Kinesiology:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 from your previous institution
  • Statement of interest (750-1000 words) addressing the following prompt: In 750 to 1,000 words, please describe your interest in the MS Kinesiology at Seattle University. Specifically, please address the following:
    • Why are you interested in the MS Kinesiology at Seattle University?
    • What do you want to achieve by taking part in the program?
    • How do you anticipate contributing to the program?
    • How would this degree advance your future career goals?
  • If you are pursuing the research track, you will also be prompted to describe your area of research interest
  • List of three references, including at least one academic reference
  • If you are applying for a Graduate Assistantship, you will be required to include a resume

Please note that the application deadline is March 15th.

Upcoming Information Sessions

Have Questions? Contact Us

Sarah Shultz

Kinesiology Department Chair


Erica Rauff

Graduate Program Director


Kari Berkas

Program Coordinator